[Feyi Taiwo | Contributing Writer]
Jumping jacks, jug jumps and air jacks, the kickboxing team were really pushing it to the limit on Monday evening! The UH Kickboxing Team is now the largest sports club at the University with over 95 students signing up within a week, and it’s still expecting to grow.
Starting with a 20 minute warm up, students performed quick sprints, squats and crunches; they were still motivated, adding another 10 minutes of side steps and stretches. While sipping some water and catching their breath; a first year student described Kickboxing as a “fun way to improve your flexibility and cardio”, and this was their first time participating in the sport. As the session started students were able to view demonstrations, with clear and precise instructions, of what they were going to do. The Captains and Coach went round in aid and support throughout the training sessions. “What’s good about Kickboxing is that you feel like you’re a part of a team and family here, unlike other clubs,” said Captain of the Kickboxing Team Dominic Pollio. “You come here to enjoy yourself and have a bit of a laugh, and on the other hand we can train you professionally if you also want to compete. I was an amateur competitor in Thailand.”
While it is a whole lot of fun, a great way to stay active and meet new people, Kickboxing is a high intensity cardio activity and holds beneficial health and fitness elements. It conditions your body and is a great way to improve your core, meaning that you build and strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles with those kicks and punches. It tones your body and you also gain a few skills in self-defense, handy! “I’ve been doing kickboxing for 22 years and I have also competed outside the university,” said Dan Andrews, Coach of the Kickboxing Team. “It’s great fun and I’ve seen the club really grow in comparison to when I started, while you’re having fun, you are also gaining great health benefits”. Andrews has been at the Kickboxing Club with the University for 10 years, starting out as an Assistant Coach in 2001.
Many students were certainly making use of getting fit and healthy while it’s cheap and easy, with UH Students being able to join and participate at just £80 for the year or £50 per semester. No matter what level you are, beginner or advanced, you can join anytime. For more information you can visit the Athletic Union website or even check out the Hertfordshire Sports Village where you can view the whole range of Sports Clubs, activities and facilities.